The Rogers Centre was supposed to be Team Canada’s homecoming. After being sent packing by Team Italia, they may not be welcome there anymore.
Team Canada may be guilty of looking past Italy and toward a match against Venezuela. Canada’s best starting pitcher—Scott Richmond of the Toronto Blue Jays—never even warmed up.
Both teams had lots of baserunners, each receiving eight walks. Italy was able to capitalize. Chris Denorfia of the Oakland Athletics had a huge night, with four hits and two RBI.
Alex Liddi, the only Italian-raised position player in the minor leagues, also had two RBI on two hits. He also had a couple of great defensive plays at third base.
Italy only used three pitchers. Starter Dan Serafini has some major league experience, but he struggled in his three innings, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks.
Relievers Chris Cooper and Jason Grilli battled Canada for the last six innings, giving up only four hits and striking out six.
Tuesday evening, Italy will try to spoil Venezuela’s bid to move on to the second round. Win or lose, Italy has proven that they belong in the World Baseball Classic, playing exciting baseball and not backing down.